Archive for November, 2009

Goodbye, Evil Grandma Rose

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

If you know me for more than a few minutes, then you've probably heard one of my stores about "Evil Grandma Rose." You've heard the impersonation, which sounds like Edith Bunker since she had that shrill voice and Bronx accent. You might have even known that I called her Beelzebubby, which would be Beelzebub (the devil) plus Bubby (Jewish for Grandmother).

Well, I just got an email from my uncle (my mother's brother) that she passed away last night. I'm not sad about this for two main reasons. One is that she was a horrible bitch that most of us hated. She was mellower in her old age, but she was never really a nice person. I am blessed with a loving, caring Grandmother who makes me feel loved and special. That's not Grandma Rose for me or anybody.

Rose was my father's father, and oh my did Dad ever marry his mother. Shame there, but hey, we all repeat patterns until we get a certain amount of self-awareness and then the cojones to break the patterns. And for those who are new to my blog, I refer to my father as Jeff and my mother as Ellen.

Second, she had a pretty good life. She would have turned 97 in 2 months, and she was never sick. She took NO medications. None. She never had cancer. She never lost her memory. She never forgot who anybody was. She was living in an assisted living facility the last few years because she had vertigo, and would often fall (and break something) when she stood up. Other than that, she wasn't sick a day in her life. I don't even remember her having a cold.

And that's amazing for someone who I was sure lived only on chocolate. :)

She was also quite the businesswoman. I'm sure she was a horrible bitch in business, and I'm sure some people respected her, some feared her, and some hated her. But she made more money than her husband in a time when women didn't even work. She was the jewellery buyer at Fortunoffs stores (department stores in the NY area), and I think she did that for over 20 years. My grandfather, who died years before I was born, had evidently been a hosiery salesman.

In college, I wrote a song about her. My professor asked me to write a cathartic, personal song that I would sing alone (no instruments) at a school recital. I wrote about a child having a bad conversation and experience with a tree. She was the unmoving, decaying, poisonous tree, and the child partially represented my father and partially me. I'm still proud of that composition. You can't dance to it, but the audience liked it better than my comedy song about safe sex (with an underlying theme of the postal system).

I am at peace with her passing. I kept in touch with her, and never let on that I didn't like her. I called her every other month, and even visited her in April 2009 when I happened to be in Maryland on business. This is what we call a "mitzvah," which is when you do something you don't want to do because it makes someone else happy. :)

I don't think anybody will miss Grandma Rose. So don't be sad or sorry. Use this as a time to ask yourself what your granddaughter, nephew, sibling, or friend would blog about you when you died. What are you leaving behind, and who would miss you? 

I will not be going to any funeral. I will not be sending any sympathy cards. Please don't send any to me. I'm not happy she's dead, but I'm not sad at this.


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Good Riddance, Palm Pre

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Palm Pre, I gave you a chance, and now, it's time for us to break up. I need to walk away from unhealthy relationships.

I dumped Windows Mobile for you. I had a bunch of HTCs running WinMo. I was happy and productive. They were getting a little slow, but man, I was getting things done and multitasking. The Pre promised so much, especially to us multitaskers and heavy email users.

The Pre has so much wrong with it at the very foundation that I have been running FIFTY patches just to make it viable. For example, without any patches, the Pre makes a sound. It could be anything. Low battery. New email. Text message. Voice mail alert. You'll never know! You have to pull the phone out to see what it was. And the by the time you pull the phone out, the screen has gone off and back into lock mode. So you have to turn it on, unlock it, and see what it was.

I thought I could live with lots of band-aids, but it's been nearly 5 months with this phone, and I'm tired of two things. One is the major lack of apps. I really was missing the apps I was using under WinMo… ProfiMail, PockeTwit, Skype, TomTom navigation (and you don't need a data connection!), SPB Pocket Plus (and Diary), Slick (unified messenger), and more.

The other has to do with the OS just not making sense for how I use it. It's like they wanted an iPhone competitor, but didn't think about how power users use stuff. The patches helped, but still weren't enough. And then the new OS came out last week.

Someone kill me.

The new OS killed the "delete email from server" feature from email. I delete emails on the Pre. They still show up in Outlook. Outlook deletes them from the server. The Palm syncs, and doesn't delete them. I have to delete emails twice. It's nearly 2010. Surely, we can perfect this. Nope, Palm's official word on their forums is that this now works correctly, and that anybody who disagrees doesn't really understand POP3.

And time zones are now messed up. I just got a text message that shows up as 8:43pm. It's 9:43pm. My text reply timestamps at 9:44pm. So messed up. I don't need this crap, and I have better things to do than to keep taping a phone back together with all kinds of patches.

Screen are slow to come up. An email that comes in, I can wait a minute for the text to come up on the screen. Text message comes in? The Palm seems to load every message to and from that person ever from some remote online backup before showing me what he/she said. Slow. Stupid slow.

I don't have time to be this non-productive. I don't have time to try to make any lame piece of equipment work the way I need it to. Windows Mobile did everything I needed, and was pretty reliable. So I'm going to go to the Sprint store, and I'm going to get the HTC Touch Pro 2. The HTC 6700 and 6800 I had served me very well for many years, and I'm just going to stick with what I know works. I know WinMo may not be the hottest OS right now, but right now, I need to be functional.

This is a warning. Those of you thinking about getting the Palm Pre? Don't bother. I know it's now on fire sale for like $50 in some places. Not worth it. If you are a light user and don't care about personalising the phone with sounds or helpful things, then you might like it. But I need something better than this. Palm over-promised and under-delivered.

Good luck, Palm.


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